Transitional Versus Organic

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By now we all know what the term “organic” means. Or do we?  In case you need a refresher on what the label really means, organic products are USDA certified grown and processed according to federal guidelines. These guidelines address soil quality, animal raising practices, pest and weed control, and use of additives, among other factors.

Now that we understand organic, let’s talk about “transitional” products. Transitional products refer to crops and produce that are essentially “organic in training.” In order for a farm to be certified organic, it has to undergo a transitional growing period adhering to USDA regulations for three years! So, what about the time in between? During this three-year time period, any produce, grain, or crop, that is gown cannot be sold as organic and is considered a transitional product. After three-years, the application and inspection process can take an additional six months. With no real market for transitional ingredients, farmers sell their high quality product at a lower profit margin until it can be labeled organic. This, along with greater financing and designing a new business model, often means farmers don’t see a return on investment for several years.    

Together with Ardent Mills, we’re changing that! Colorado milled Transitional All-Purpose Flour is a bag of wheat like no other. Made with transitional wheat, every bag is a result of hard work and commitment from farmers who are undergoing the three-year transition period to organic.  

You can expect organic level quality at a great price-point with transitional products. According to the New Products Conference in 2017, 75% of respondents positively ranked transitional products and scored them 10 points higher than non-transitional options.

FoodMaven customer, Raquelitas Tortillas has started incorporating Transitional All-Purpose Flour into every single tortilla they make. They are the first tortilla manufacturer to start using Transitional All-Purpose Flour and are excited to support local and regional farmers as they transition to organic. Tortilla master Richard Schneider claims, “Within 10 minutes of us receiving this bag, we started using it in every batch... If you bake, make cookies, pizza, pita, or about anything with flour, you can make a difference to our farmers with this.” 

By purchasing and spreading awareness about transitional products, like Ardent Mill’s Transitional All-Purpose Flour exclusively available through FoodMaven, you can help support these growers and encourage more farmers to transition to organic.